Google’s new Los Angeles office had its grand opening yesterday, consolidating operations that were previously spread-out among three different offices in Santa Monica into the funky Frank Gehry-designed “Binoculars” building in Venice Beach.
The new operation is home to 500 employees, who begin work tomorrow. The were welcomed by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising at Google. A photo tour of the event.
Above, the exterior of Google LA.
You enter the offices through the Google Doodle Museum, a hallway filled with Google’s special logos over the years.
Another hallway features a chalkboard where a Googler has already been creative. Note the head of the surfing robot is actually a light fixture.
Villaraigosa welcoming Wojcicki and Google to LA. Wojcicki reflected both on her time as a student in Southern California at UCLA and how Google’s start in the area began with its acquisition of Applied Semantics. Both Google and Applied Semantics were working with contextual ads, at the time. Google later adopted the name Applied Semantics was using for its program, AdSense.
One of the outside spaces, with a beach theme. The real beach is about two blocks away. Employees can rent boards at Google, if they want to surf, I was told.
Note the “Hang 10 to the 100″ on the board. Not sure who all the signatures are from; pretty sure this board was a fixture in one of the old Google offices in Santa Monica.
Every use the AdWords Keyword Tool? Of course you do. A huge chunk of the team that makes that tool possible work out of the new office, just some of whom are pictured here.
Offices and workspaces have names after LA locations or movies (as best I could tell). Above, Griffith Observatory.
The Hollywood Sign conference room.
Inside the Hollywood Sign room. Someone asked if that was a real Warhol of Jackie Kennedy. I’m guessing not.
The Randy’s Donut room. No, Iron Man was not inside. But there was a book about donuts, a donut clock and a donut pillow.
Each of the lenses of the “binocular” that was out front are small meeting rooms. This gives you a sense of the entire room (it’s really hard to shoot the whole things, as it’s small, much less I was using my Droid Charge phone. But I tried with my panorama mode).
Another shot of inside the binocular, looking up.
Between the “lenses” of the binoculars, the space is given over to a recreation area complete with Xbox, Wii, Ms. Pacman and a pool table. Note the “Google” logo spelled out with pillows against the window.
Rack ‘em up. The pool table features a new Google LA logo.